Last night's UFC on Fox 9 card in Sacramento had a long run of decisions leading into the co-main event, and both of those fights definitely had the potential to go the distance as well. But they didn't, and that turned an average card into a very good one. The finish of the main event was shocking, but it was about the best thing that could happen for a flyweight division that is struggling for attention among weight classes with higher finishing rates. It also helped elevate Johnson into the upper echelon of UFC champions. Anyway, let's get to the winners and losers.
Demetrious Johnson - That was a pretty awesome way to vanquish the opponent that most thought would give Mighty Mouse the toughest challenge. He has now quietly defended his title three times and finished two of those fights. He just keeps going out there in front of a network TV audience and getting the job done, and he's always classy afterwards. Johnson really opened some more eyes with that KO, and hopefully the UFC can line up another good challenger for him soon.
Urijah Faber - The "old guy" did it again. Remember a while ago when people were getting mad that Faber was getting so many title shots? Well, he got them because he deserved them. And he deserves another one after his ridiculous 2013. 4-0, three finishes, and an emphatic victory over the guy that many see as the future of the division. He also did his best to take shots at Dominick Cruz at the post-fight press conference, which was pretty funny.
Chad Mendes - I think most featherweights would be extremely happy with a good win over a tough guy on their best night. Mendes was battling a sinus infection and still delivered everything needed to pick up the victory, and he just got flak from Joe Rogan for most of the fight because he didn't look 100%. He's still the number two featherweight in the world and I think he's ready for another shot at the title. And I'm sure he'll be "more like himself" if it does come around, Joe.
Zach Makovsky - Bellator was crazy to let this guy go, and he was at 135 there. At 125, the dude's a beast. He just won a five-round RFA fight 22 days ago. 22 days. And the guy's back in there hurting 135 rankings stalwart Scott Jorgensen with hard punches and more than hanging with him on the ground in the latter's flyweight debut. Makovsky could quickly become a factor in the developing division, and it's going to be fun to watch.
Joseph Benavidez - That knockout was hugely damaging to his career. He's now had two flyweight title shots after getting a bantamweight title shot in the WEC, and he's 0-3. He's going to be stuck in flyweight purgatory now, beating most of the guys in the division but unable to secure another shot at the champ. The ultimate gatekeeper. Which is a horrible place to be in.
Michael McDonald - Mayday was just super tentative the whole time and never got into the fight. All he'll probably be remembered for is running into the cage before he got submitted, and that's not exactly something you want on your highlight reel. He's still ridiculously young and there's tons of time for him to get better. But this definitely took the shine off of his "future champion" badge, that's for sure.
Danny Castillo - There are two reasons he's in this category. One is because he missed out on a draw due to judging incompetence, which sucks for him. The other is because he wasn't the same fighter in the last two rounds. Not even close. Maybe he punched himself out in the first round, I don't know. But he wasn't even really trying to wrestle, which is his bread and butter. He just handed the fight away. That's not good.
Cody McKenzie - Where do I even start? WalMart shorts with the price tag still on? No banner and one cornerman? General malaise in the cage in a losing effort? Drinking in the tunnel right after the fight was over when he still had blood on him? I don't know. I just don't know. MMA has some weird characters, but he might have just moved himself into the top five of that particular P4P rankings list.